It can be hard to get exposure for your indie game, especially without a large budget for production, much less promotion. James Marsden, director of FuturLab, the studio behind Velocity 2X, had to get creative. He said controversial things, such as claiming Velocity 2X would be the game of the year. It helped, but one of the big ways they got attention was drawing important and influential people in the gaming community.
"When you look at what we can possibly do on the cheap in terms of marketing, we saw the quality of the character art of this one chap and thought we should draw some people on Twitter – most people have a picture of their face on profile," Marsden told MCVUK. "So we decided to draw [president of Sony’s worldwide studios] Shuhei Yoshida." That image was a big hit online, so they kept going, targeting well-known individuals in the gaming world.
BEYOND. pic.twitter.com/sbuEq8RarJ— FuturLab (@FuturLab) July 29, 2014
"So we drew a bunch of other people.Then we decided that we’d try and get some YouTube Let’s Plays out, so we approached PewDiePie. Unsurprisingly he’s very busy and really hard to get hold of so we decided to draw him," Marsden explained."That single retweet continues to bring us followers today and that was a few weeks ago. That man has an phenomenal amount of influence on Twitter."
Wassup @pewdiepie, we 2X'd you =) pic.twitter.com/ovuTDFRH8b— FuturLab (@FuturLab) August 21, 2014
That tweet received 549 retweets and 3,886 favorites. That's an audience of people who are interested in what PewDiePie is interested in, making the impact of the tweets much higher than you'd get from most other audience. FuturLab later released an image jokingly saying their game was why the PS4 was selling so well, along with the cartoon images of Sony executives.
"Why is #PS4 selling so well? @yosp @shahidkamal pic.twitter.com/7bW4g1xEHJ - Velocity®2X Yay! (FuturLab)" http://t.co/QDMra5Cvrz— FuturLab (@FuturLab) September 11, 2014
It's a simple strategy: Use your talents to flatter very public and well-known people in the game's industry, and they'll talk about you, or at least give you a retweet. Exposure can be everything in indie marketing, and this was an inexpensive way to quickly reach a huge audience.